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Gillingham 0 Northampton Town 2: Sam Hoskins opens scoring at Priestfield in League 2 clash and Kieron Bowie adds the second

Gillingham were brought back down to earth with a league defeat to Northampton coming days after the midweek cup heroics.

Sam Hoskins was gifted an opening goal for Northampton midway through the first half and Gillingham were unable to build on their Carabao Cup win at Brentford as they conceded a second with 20 minutes left. The 2-0 defeat leaves them third from bottom in League 2.

Will Wright in action for Gillingham Picture: KPI (60598434)
Will Wright in action for Gillingham Picture: KPI (60598434)

Mikael Mandron returned to Gillingham’s starting line-up after his midweek goal at Brentford while Glenn Morris was back between the sticks.

The Gills were without a win from their previous five in the league and struggled against National North side Fylde the week before but a win at Premier League Brentford on the Tuesday would have done the players’ confidence wonders.

Gillingham certainly looked like they had a bit of confidence about them midway through the half but so often the promising forward play ended abruptly.

The visitors had the better of the early chances with Morris saving from Shaun McWilliams in the first minute and dealing with a long-range effort from Ben Fox.

Stuart O'Keefe looking for options Picture: KPI (60598437)
Stuart O'Keefe looking for options Picture: KPI (60598437)

Northampton’s opener was all about Gills’ sloppy play. Will Wright played a ball forward that was cut out by Hoskins, who still had much to do, but as he surged forward neither Wright or Stuart O’Keefe put pressure on the player and he was allowed the chance to guide a powerful shot into the roof of the net, his 13th of the campaign coming in the 27th minute.

The Gills didn’t look like adding to their six-goal tally for the season, ending the half without a shot on target and just one towards goal, Hakeeb Adelakun with a shot that curled the wrong way.

Goalkeeper Jake Turner came on for the Gills with five minutes of the half remaining after Morris went down holding his right shoulder, falling badly when claiming a high ball.

A switch at the break saw Adelakun replaced by Lewis Walker. Despite plenty of intent it just didn’t happen for winger Adelakun on the day.

Jordan Green went close shortly after the restart, a nice touch putting him inbetween two defenders and firing a rising show narrowly wide.

Jordan Green hoping to make something happen Picture: KPI (60598443)
Jordan Green hoping to make something happen Picture: KPI (60598443)

Gillingham kept the pressure up and Wright had the chance to redeem himself with a 25-yard free-kick but could only find a man in the wall.

Walker should have levelled it up with 67 minutes played as fellow substitute Kashket got in behind the defence, rolling the ball into the striker’s feet at the near post, but on his left foot he couldn’t find the target.

Hopes of a fightback ended when the Gills conceded a second, unable to make a meaningful challenge again as Mitch Pinnock played in Hoskins and his low cross was pounced upon by Kieron Bowie, netting from close range.

A headed effort from Walker with five minutes left didn’t trouble keeper Lee Burge but it was on target. Alex MacDonald had a pop from distance but again the goalie got behind it as the Gills threatened late on. Mandron also had a chance but his glancing header went wide.

Gillingham: Morris (Turner 40mins), McKenzie, Law, Wright, Baggott, O’Keefe (MacDonald 65mins), Williams, Jefferies (Reeves 81mins), Adelakun, Green (Kashket 65mins), Mandron. Subs not used: Ehmer, Akehurst.

Northampton: Burge, Odimayo (Dyche 81mins), McGowan (Lintott 81mins), Guthrie, Sherring, Sowerby, Hoskins, Fox (Leonard 68mins), Pinnock, McWilliams, Bowie (Hylton 76mins). Subs not used: Dadge, Hylton, Haynes, Cross.

Attendance: 4,581 (429 away)

Referee: Declan Bourne

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